July 18, 2013
The Unsurprising, Unjust Conviction of Russia’s Opposition Leader

Aleksei Navalny woke up this morning knowing that he’d be found guilty of the crime of embezzlement. What he wasn’t absolutely sure of, though probably heavily suspected, was that he’d be given a lengthy jail sentence — five years, as it turns out, which is just one fewer than the prosecutor had asked for, along with a $15,400 fine. In one the last email exchange I had with him, a little over a week ago, he’d written back: “Will it happen before the 18th?” in response to a note alerting him something forthcoming that I knew would be of interest to him. He was under no illusions as to how little time he had left.There are four other “charges” pending against the Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner, and possibly more to come. Navalny had said recently that he’d lost count of the number of indictments being handed down by Vladimir Putin’s legal Thermidor, which is overseen by the Investigative Committee’s Alexander Bastrykin. Bastrykin is man who once threatened to to behead a journalist in a forest; he ordered his investigators, who initially turned up nothing, to turn up something related to Navalny’s theft.
Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

The Unsurprising, Unjust Conviction of Russia’s Opposition Leader

Aleksei Navalny woke up this morning knowing that he’d be found guilty of the crime of embezzlement. What he wasn’t absolutely sure of, though probably heavily suspected, was that he’d be given a lengthy jail sentence — five years, as it turns out, which is just one fewer than the prosecutor had asked for, along with a $15,400 fine. In one the last email exchange I had with him, a little over a week ago, he’d written back: “Will it happen before the 18th?” in response to a note alerting him something forthcoming that I knew would be of interest to him. He was under no illusions as to how little time he had left.There are four other “charges” pending against the Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner, and possibly more to come. Navalny had said recently that he’d lost count of the number of indictments being handed down by Vladimir Putin’s legal Thermidor, which is overseen by the Investigative Committee’s Alexander Bastrykin. Bastrykin is man who once threatened to to behead a journalist in a forest; he ordered his investigators, who initially turned up nothing, to turn up something related to Navalny’s theft.

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

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    For as much as I hate my government sometimes I am occasionally reminded how much worse it could be.
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